A friend asked me the other day if I could change anything on this journey I've made to becoming a published writer what would it be. It set me to thinking long and hard about the topic.
*I wish I'd discovered RWAustralia sooner than I did. Until I entered the RWA Emma Darcy Award I never even knew they existed.
Joining this writing organisation has enriched my professional and personal life as a writer. I've learned so much about the craft of writing, the publishing industry and how everyone fits within the jigsaw, networking, pitching, developed friendships...the list could go on.
*I regret not having pitched to an editor or agent at a conference earlier than I did. Public speaking, interview situations, anything that resembled either of these petrified me (even though I'm a teacher and can quite happily make a fool of myself and love it in front of a classroom full of children).
I put it off for nearly six years, preferring the anonymity and safety of emails and letters. I'm still reluctant to tackle this sort of situation but I can now do it because I know what to expect. I also realise the value of networking and meeting industry professionals face to face. Putting a name to a face (on both sides of the interview table) is such an important step.
*My latest wish is that I'd developed myself as a plotter and planner in my writing style rather than as a scener and panster. It's something I'm now working on and, unfortunately I'm finding it quite a challenge. I'd been told time and again by other writers (published ones) that it's an important skill to develop but I went on my merry way, happy to write as I wanted, instead of learning and changing. Better late than never, eh?
This might seem like a negative list of regrets, and I guess to some extent they are just that, but timing has a funny way of working out and I've learned sometimes there's nothing you can do but accept this. For some reason they happen when they do.
Reminds me of the reed-in-the-water analogy - you learn to bend with the current rather than break.
If you're a fellow writer, is there anything you wish you could have learned sooner in your writing career? Care to share?